In the last CNA training blog post, we discussed the serious condition, shift work disorder. You may have this disorder if you work the third shift after CNA training, because you will be sleeping during the daytime instead of the night and altering your circadian rhythm. Your body’s internal clock will fight this change in your sleeping habits, causing you to experience symptoms like difficulty sleeping, trouble staying asleep, and feeling fatigued all of the time.
After CNA training, there are steps you can take to battle this condition if you have no other choice but to work third shift.
Dealing With Shift Work Disorder After CNA Training
If you want to overcome the symptoms of sleep work disorder, your first priority should be to obtain a good night’s, or day’s in this case, sleep. Here’s how to do it after CNA training.
- Make sleep a priority in your life. It affects your health, just like exercise and diet do, so it should be just as important as any other health priorities you have in your life.
- When you are working the night shift after you have completed CNA training, you will be leaving work when the sun is bright in the sky. This light influences your body’s internal clock, telling it that you need to wake up. To contradict this, wear sunglasses when leaving your medical facility and driving home. Then, when you wake up after your day’s sleep, go outside and let the light from the sun cue your internal clock and tell it is time for you to wake up.
- Establish a routine for your bedtime after CNA training. This can greatly affect your sleeping habits. Make sure your bedtime rituals are relaxing and soothing. You may want to get into your pajamas, brush your teeth, play soothing music, take a warm bath, or lay back and read a book for half an hour. The more you do this, the more your body will be able to recognize when you need to go to bed and when you need to sleep.
- If you have chores to do when you get home from working third shift after CNA training, such as getting the kids off to school or taking the dog for a walk, make sure you do these tasks, and then relax for at least one hour before you attempt to go to bed. If you try to sleep right after, your mind may not be able to relax as easily. Also, try to resolve any worrisome, upsetting, or stimulating problems before you try to go to sleep, so you don’t cut short your sleeping time thinking about them.
- Keep your room as dark as possible to alert your body that you need to go to sleep. Use blackout shades, eye masks, and heavy curtains to block out the light and trick your body into thinking it is time to go to bed. If you have an illuminated alarm clock, cover it so that you can still hear it when it goes off, but the light will not disturb you and you won’t be constantly looking to see what time it is.
CNA Training: Surviving Shift Work Disorder
After CNA training, you may have no choice but to work the night shift. However, if you do, you need to know how to deal with shift work disorder. Your circadian rhythm will be affected, and using these steps will ensure you still get a good day’s sleep after CNA training.